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I'm a fan of pen-and-paper RPG's. That's what you are going to find on this site. Sometimes there might be a blurb about the Secret World MMO; but the focus here is my drifting through Wisconsin's gaming communities.

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Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Era III: 1992: Gods, Space and Universal Games Systems

I have a cold today. Not a lot of fluff. Just the facts.
A few new companies and games pop up in this year…

Alderac Entertainment Group (AEG) opens its doors, founded by Jolly Blackburn. Holistic Design Inc opens its doors, with the focus being primarily on computer games, but miniature games and an RPG will be in its future as well. On the subject of something old and something new, a handful of RPG’s were re-vamped and released this year:

Gamma World 4e is released by TSR this year.
Fringeworthy 3e is released by Tri Tac Games. Still set in 2013, still dealing with those alien and alternate Earths.
Warhammer 4e
Incursion by Tri Tac.
Cyberspace 2e is released by ICE. It uses the Spacemaster rule system.
Shadowrun 2e by FASA.

The new stuff that hit the shelves are:

Dangerous Journeys, Game Designers’ Workshop 1992, in conjunction with Gary Gygax’s New Infinities Productions. TSR immediately sues, buys the complete rights, and permanently shelves the project. Frank Mentzer leaves the business until 2010.
Galactic Conquest, a play-by-mail game as part of Agents of Gaming production design studio. Conquest of America (Continental Conquest) was also published.
The Primal Order, by Wizards of the Coast. Designed to be a deity system for virtually any RPG, this core rule set gave details about gods and how to convert them between systems.
FUDGE, by Grey Ghost Press. This is actually a self-published ebook that established the FUDGE rule system. Originally named SLUG (Simple, Laid-back Universal Game).
Werewolf: The Apocalypse by White Wolf is published as part of the Storyteller System.
Nephilim, by Chaosium. Become a demi-god, prophet, saint, magician soul stealer! The series had a revamp a few years from now.
Jovian Chronicles is released by Dream Pod 9. This is a Sol-centric mecha / space battle RPG released as Mekton RPG supplements, but will eventually become it’s own system.
Traveller: The New Era by GDW. This 3rd edition game moves the time frame beyond the rebellion to a point where the Imperium has been exhausted by a Rebellion-forged virus.
Over the Edge by Atlas Games. The game of surreal danger, secrets and conspiracies, set in the island nation of Al Amarja. Everything exists here, and they brought their friends and political factions… This game can be played diceless.
Amazing Engine game system is released by TSR designated to be a universal game system.
Dream Park by  R. Talsorian Games. Based upon the Niven / Barnes novels of a metagame environment.

This years Steve Jackson Games selection includes…

GURPS 3: Callahan’s Crosstime Saloon by SJG.
GURPS 3: Bunnies & Burrows by SJG.
GURPS 3: Espionage by SJG.
GURPS 3: Fantasy GM’s Pack by SJG.
GURPS 3: Illuminati by SJG.
GURPS 3: Imperial Rome by SJG.
GURPS 3: Middle Ages by SJG.
GURPS 3: Timeline by SJG.
GURPS 3: Uplift by SJG.
GURPS 3: Mixed Doubles by SJG.

Along the same lines as the various SJG line, the Palladium Books line of core games is vast and varied as well. Founded in 1981 in Detroit, Michigan by Kevin Siembieda. One unique element of the various titles is that many follow what is known as the ‘Megaversal’ game mechanic. Although not a cut-and-paste universal game mechanic, the generalizations of many of the rules may be used between the majority of the books (each core line has unique elements and side rules that the others may not). Four core books that I missed are:

The Mechanoid Invasion: published by Palladium in 1981-1988
Valley of the Pharaohs: published by Palladium in 1983-1985
Heroes Unlimited: published by Palladium in 1984 1987 1998
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles & Other Strangeness: published by Palladium in 1985

Online RPGs include The Sierra Network: The Shadow of Yserbius. This MUD was a turned-based game allowing up to 4 people in a party. There were 30 rooms to explore and adventure through. Over time, 30 more rooms were added. Some of Quintet's action RPGs allowed players to shape the game world through town-building simulation elements, such as Soul Blazer, where you free towns via dungeon crawl adventures.

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